Introducing a new dog into the family is an exciting time that naturally requires an acclimation period. As with any new addition to the home, everyone in the household must adjust to a new routine and way of life. Thankfully, bonding with your new dog is fun and easy to do. By simply living life and finding common activities you enjoy, everyone can grow closer together. These four bonding activities will put you on the right track to creating a strong family unit where your dog will feel loved and included.
When you introduce a new dog to the home, other people and pets at home need to get used to the new family member. Think of it as a similar season to bringing home a new baby. When you gently ease into the home routine and keep the home a calm environment, everyone can get to know each other more easily. For example, you wouldn’t want to have a party and a ton of guests over day after day with a new dog around. Instead, keep the home a constant and soothing place where everyone can learn to live around each other and adjust to their individual and household routines.
So, grab some comfy clothes and clear your calendar of stressful events—it’s time to cozy up to your new pup and show them what your home is like! If you have other pets and kids at home, this will also be a good time to reiterate important rules like respecting other pets, being gentle and caring, and basic safety rules regarding dog walks and outside time. Over time, your family will mesh into a routine that works for everyone.
New family members need to learn the rules of the home, so house training is the most practical bonding activity you must do. If you are bringing home a new puppy, you have a big task ahead of you. There are plenty of things to teach your new dog, including house training. Teaching your dog how to behave and important life skills like using the restroom outside will bring you closer together. There will be accidents with all puppies, so load up on essentials like puppy training mats and an extra laundry hamper to dispose of any messes quickly.
This stage is temporary and will pass, but if you all work hard together to teach the dog your rules, everyone will be happier. With house training, consistency is key, so be sure to not “rock the boat” with too many house guests and parties at home as you teach your dog how to toilet. Your loving guidance will get your puppy on the right track in no time!
Dogs are pack animals, so they love to sleep with or near their family. Of course, you may prefer to sleep with your new dog in the same bed and enjoy all the snuggles, but keeping a dog bed in your room helps everyone have their own space if they need it. For instance, your dog may want to take an afternoon nap in his own bed and then sleep with you at night. You can even put a personalized pillow with your dog's name on it to commemorate their new sleeping places. By having this cozy abode for you and your new dog, rest time is convenient and easy.
Walking your dog gives him the exercise and companionship he craves, so don’t let winter become a time where you are stuck inside! Solutions like dog hoodies keep you and your pup actively exploring. Dog jackets and coats also keep the cold and rain away so that you don’t have to be held back by bad weather.
Take care to make sure that your dog is a breed that needs warming jackets, however. Some dogs are made for the winter, like huskies, and have plenty of fur to keep them warm. On the other hand, short-hair dogs like Chihuahuas can certainly use some coats to stay comfortable in the winter.
When your dog has adjusted to the new family routine, it’s time to pursue some exciting activities like playdates. If you have a friend with a dog that gets along with other pets, plan an afternoon at a dog park or at your house where your dogs can meet and play. Bring all the hit pet toys like frisbees, balls, and hide-a-squirrels that thrill various canine personalities. Don’t forget your dog’s water bowl and treats so that your four-legged friend has everything she needs to stay fueled all day.
By using these simple bonding activities, you and your new dog can become fast friends and start a new life together.